Bismarckia nobilis is an evergreen, flowering solitary self-cleaning perennial fan palm with a straight stem.
This palm does not grow at least 6-12m tall with a 6m spread and a stem diameter of 45-55cm. It grows from solitary trunks, grey to tan in colour, which show ringed indentations from old leaf bases. Trunks are 30 to 45 cm in diameter, slightly bulging at the base, and free of leaf bases in all but its youngest parts. In their natural habitat they can reach above 25 meters in height but usually get no taller than 12 m in cultivation.
The nearly rounded leaves are enormous in maturity, over 3 m wide, and are divided to a third its length into 20 or more stiff, once-folded segments, themselves split on the ends. The leaves are induplicate and Costa palmate, producing a wedge-shaped hustle where the blade and petiole meet. Petioles are 2–3 m, slightly armed, and are covered in a white wax as well as cinnamon-coloured caducous scales; the nearly-spherical leaf crown is 7.5 m wide and 6 m tall. Noted as reaching 18m tall with a spread of 7.5m or more in its native habitat.
Slow growing to start, however, grows at a rate of approximately 30-60cm p/a once established. Life span of 150 years or more.